Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Blood Claws

Hi one and all,

This is one of the first blog entries I ever did way back when I still used my blog on the Bolter & Chainsword forum. I am presenting it here as it was written back then, instead of rewriting it.  This is not out of laziness, but it shows a progression in the design of my army I would like to preserve.  I hope you find it interesting.

I have finished taking pics of the BC pack I've just painted last week. Unfortunately, I built them up with the weapon format of the 3rd edition codex. I honestly didn't think the weapons' selection would change, but there you go!

So I'm going to have to edit this unit again. I might even take off their backpacks and add jump-packs; turning them into Sky Claws for the simple fact that I like the idea of one of this unit affected with the 'mark of Wulfen'.

With respect to the painting scheme, I decided to paint my Wolves on a more 30k scheme rather than the standard blue grey. I'm a great fan of the Horus Heresy and the titanic battles of the original 20 legions. But I'll be keeping them Night Runners (its a traditional thing for me).

As the painting goes, first I used Adeptus Battlegrey as an undercoat. Then Adeptus Battlegrey + Space Wolves Grey (50% mix) for the base-coat. I then highlighted by adding more Space Wolves Grey to the mix. I wanted to reduce the amount of yellow on my troops drastically. Only the BC and WG will be getting yellow on their pack markings. The pack markings are the only scheme I kept from 2nd edition.

I assembled the BC with as little paraphernalia as possible, because in my personal fluff-twist I see them as having to earn their pelts yet. They haven't been fighting long enough to have trophies dangling around. I also gave them a marking on their right shoulder pad. This is the 'Rune of Acceptance' into the company and it is something the Claws work hard to get rid of and earn their place with the Hunters.

My 2nd edition army was painted to very high standards and it took me ages to get it finished (nearly 3 years). My 3rd edition army was just block colours since I bought it just for gaming. With my new army I've decided to strike a balance. I want to paint them as quickly as possible in order to get into the fray and smash, crush and obliterate any Thousand Sons furious.gif troops out there; but I also want to spend enough time to be proud of the time I invested in them and sit back and admire them from time to time. They'll also look better on the gaming table.

I apologize for the bad lighting in the pics. I enjoy landscape photography and I'm not equipped for close up shots but they are decent enough for viewing. There are more in my gallery. I hope you like them as much as I enjoyed painting them.


Until next time,

For Russ, the Wolftime and Fenrisian Ale!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Defining my Space Wolf Force - Part 1

Hi everyone,

As probably most of you know I am a very big and dedicated Space Wolf fan.  I have been since Rogue Trader with my first army of Space Wolves that were painted up to look more or less like Imperial Fists in camouflage.  That army along with the other two that followed are on someone else's shelf or bits box now.  To be honest I still regret selling my first army, as it was made up of those ultra cool first Space Marine minis the kids like me fell in love with all those years ago.

This is my fourth army of Space Wolves, and before I sat down to design it I wanted to establish a look for each unit, as well as the army as a whole.  Having said that, I did not want to loose focus on why I was building the army - that is to play with it and not collect a new army for the sake of collecting one; painting it up to very high standards and leaving it in the showcase.  I decided to do this by building up each unit on three defining criteria.

The first criterion I would look at was a 'parts concept'.  Choosing the parts would establish the overall look of the marine.  I went about this depending on the function and status of the unit and accordingly build it up from normal Space Marine parts or Space Wolf parts.

The second would be the modelling.  Once again, depending on the function and status of the unit, I would add stuff like wolf pelts, wolf tooth necklaces, wolf tails, belts, skulls and trophies.

The third and final criteria I would employ in designing the army would be the painting.  This concept would also define the look of the army as a whole. 

I decided to make a breakdown of each pack type which I will list below, stating how it would be built up according to the three criteria discussed above.

The Blood Claws
These are the equivalent to scouts in other Space Marine chapters.  They are relatively young and undisciplined and eager to prove themselves in combat. Hence I wanted them to be dynamic without furs or fur cloaks or trophies.  These are trappings they still have to earn.

Parts Concept:- Only use Space Marine legs (majority in running poses) and torsos (with few exceptions). As for backpacks and shoulder pads I only use the normal Space Marine ones.

Modelling Concept:- No modelling except for a 'Rune of Acceptance' on their right shoulder pad.  Unlike the other trophies of other units, Blood Claws strive to have this mark removed and take their place among the Grey Hunters.  I also added blades to specialists to denote their special role.

Painting Concept:-  I wanted to keep the original second edition pack markings so I painted the shoulder pads in red and yellow.  I also added blue warpaint to the Blood Claws' faces and helmets, and painted the hands in red.  This tends to make them slightly flamboyant in Space Wolf terms.

The Grey Hunters
These are a special type of Tactical Squad formation, unique to the Sons of Russ.  Unlike normal Tactical squads that carry Bolters and a bolt pistol, Grey Hunters carry a second close combat weapon.

Parts Concept:- Only use Space Marine legs (minority in running poses) and mostly Space Wolf torsos (with few exceptions).  I also arm them with Bolters and a close combat weapon (usually a chainsword).  As for backpacks I only use the normal Space Marine ones.

Modelling Concept:- Grey Hunters are mature experienced warriors.  As such I model furs, wolf tooth necklaces, wolf tails, trophies and other trappings freely.

Painting Concept:- As with the Blood Claws, I wanted to keep the original second edition pack markings so I painted the shoulder pads in red and black. Under no circumstances did I paint any yellow on them.

The Long Fangs

These are a the long range support for the Space Wolves.  They are in themselves veterans and some of the longest serving warriors in the Chapter.

Parts Concept:- These are the first unit type where I only use Space Wolf legs (majority in standing poses) and torsos (with few exceptions).  This helps show their privileged and respectful position within the Chapter.
Modelling Concept:- Like the Grey Hunters, I freely sculpt all kinds of trophies and trappings on them to give them more character and a uniqueness.

Painting Concept:- Like the other units, I wanted to keep the original second edition pack markings so I painted the shoulder pads in black and white. Unlike the other packs, all my Long Fang packs will have the same pack marking.  This will allow me to freely mix heavy weapons between them without having to magnetise. 

Well that ends the first part on my reflections with my army design.  Next time I will deal with Wolf Guard, Wolf Scouts and Bikers.
Farewell and good health


Saturday, February 9, 2013

Games Workshop - Gluttonous Jerks in Space!

Hi everyone,

Once again I am baffled with the extent GW goes to protect its trademark.  The latest case is against the author M.C.A.Hogarth.

The author wrote a novel called Spots the Space Marine, and believe it or not, GW are claiming a "common law trademark claim" over the phrase Space Marine. Why? Because they claim that their entry into digital publishing gives them this right.

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, could not have said it better when they stated that it was "absurd" for the firm to claim ownership of the phrase and its use in literature.  I agree completely.  If Mrs Hogarth had used the term Adeptus Astartes, I would not have been so sympathetic with her, but this is not the case.

The terms Space Marine and power armour have been common sci-fi staple for a very long time.  Way before GW got thier greedy clutches on it.  Not to mention that GW have copied many concepts from other notable genres themselves.  From where I stand, GW are showing themselves for the gluttonous hypocrites they are.  They are taking this too far, and too the detriment of all the sci-fi community.  Defending your trademark is one thing, hijacking a generic term is another.

SHAME ON YOU Games Workshop - SHAME!

My sympathies and prayers are with you Mrs Hogarth.  If you decide to fight this out, please know that you are doing a great service for all sci-fi devotees.

Here are some links to other articles on this matter here, here and here.  Also please go to Mrs Hogarths blog and show your support here.

I love the worlds of Warhammer, especially the universe of 40K, but if GW starts bullying every author who uses these terms, then science fiction in general will suffer because of it.  This has to stop!


The rant is over.  Let us all hope for better things in the future.

Farewell and good health


Monday, February 4, 2013

Dreadnought Pt.1:- Intergrated!

Hi everyone,

Two years ago I bought a Space Marine Mega-Force box as well as several other 40K box sets from the now defunct Maelstrom Games.  They were holding a big sale at 30% discount and I made the most of it at the time.  I also had a lot of 'due back' credit with them, and this just made my purchase all the more worth it.

Since I decided to start building a dreadnought for my Space Wolves I had to decide what to build.  I had a normal dreadnought from the Mega-Force box and a Venerable dreadnought box, as well as a 'Black Reach' dread which I bought for about 10 quid  (I wish I had bought one or two more to think of it).

I opted to build the dread from the Mega-Force box, but I wanted to alter it.  I always liked the style of the Contemptor and the Venerable dread over the standard sarcophagus style dread.  So the decision was made for me. 

Another reason I wanted to alter this one was because the dread from 'Black Reach' would have been harder to convert. I also had plans to convert the 'Black Reach' dread into a 'rifleman' dreadnought with auto-cannons.

This dreadnought I have started would be magnetised and used as my main choice in my army.  All I had to do was see how I could go about converting it.

Before I put blade to plastic, I studied the front and top parts carefully and opened up the Venerable dreadnought box to see how it was designed.  The front section of the Venerable dread,for those who don't know, has the body of the Space Marine showing under the sarcophagus.  I thought this was the way to go, so I started to cut up plastic.

As you can see from the pic above, I cut out the top part of the central part of the front plate.  The part where the sarcophagus is.  The I had to choose an appropriate Space Marine model to fit.  After trying several torsos, I went for Forge World's Mark IV torso.  The shape made for a neater fit.

The next step was the head.  This was a bit more difficult. I tried toying with several, including Space Wolf helmets.  In the end I opted for the Mark V from Forge World.   This just seemed more 'heavy duty' to me.  It also looks a bit more aggressive.  So the choice was made as well.

The next step was to integrate the Space Marine into the dread.  As you can tell, from the pic above, this was no surgical operation.  First I drilled several holes into the arms and attached five to six round plastic rods.  These are the white parts in the pic above.  I then positioned the marine and glued the rods to the inner parts of the dread.  First with super-glue, then with epoxy glue for strength.

I also decided to glue on the backpack onto the marine and to the top part of the dread. Why? Just to add some extra strength, since I would be manhandling it some what.  It also adds a bit of depth to the dread when seen from the front.

I then fitted some casted power cables I bought from Dragon Forge.  They can be seen better from the first pic.  These are excellent for adding the extra detail this type of conversion depends so much on.  The last part was to add some brass wire.  This was basically 'filler'.

The last part was to cover up some of the cuts made with some plastic strips and Forge World  etched brass. 

Altogether the conversion took 2 hours of work, excluding the time it took to figure out how I'd go about it.  The next step is to fit the sarcophagus cover on.  I chose one from the Venerable dread box, as you can see below.

Fitting the sarcophagus is the more difficult part of the process, as I have my work cut out for me to make an agreeable fit, or at least something that 'works' or looks functional.  After this is done, then the fun part begins!  That is adding the extra bling - tooth necklaces, furs and trophies of war.  But that will all have to wait for another post.  Until then.

Farewell and good health



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